Monday, April 29, 2013

For Janos Starker (1924-2013)

I always found that there was far less to Janos Starker than met the eye - a perfect cello machine who never spared an opportunity to mute the expressive capability of whatever he played, and no doubt encouraged his students to do the same. Give me Rostropovich any day, hour, or minute over Starker. Rostropovich was all warmth and fire, whereas Starker was a perfectly formed icicle. Nevertheless, the technique was truly jaw-dropping, and when it came to works of great difficulty, he could put them over like the easiest thing in the world. He was not an artist to touch your heart, but he could make your hair stand up.

Kodaly Cello Sonata (it was said to be unplayable until he played it)

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